Steve Morse and The Dixie Dregs 2005 
A bit of the crowd just before the show. Because I was holding the camera over my head, I didn't notice until now that there was someone in the frame who was using a hand gesture to tell me that I'm Number One in his book. He must have appreciated the dazzling camera flash or something.

This photo doesn't do justice to the number of people at this gig. This is a relatively small bar/club, but the place was packed with a mind-boggling number of people.
A bit of the crowd just before the show. Because I was holding the camera over my head, I didn't notice until now that there was someone in the frame who was using a hand gesture to tell me that I'm Number One in his book. He must have appreciated the dazzling camera flash or something.

This photo doesn't do justice to the number of people at this gig. This is a relatively small bar/club, but the place was packed with a mind-boggling number of people.

The (relatively short) set list for The Steve Morse Band, who opened for The Dixie Dregs.

Click a second time on the photo to see it in high resolution so you can read the song titles.

Since Steve is the front man for both bands, and the music is similar, it's more like one meta-set than an opener/headliner kind of thing.
The (relatively short) set list for The Steve Morse Band, who opened for The Dixie Dregs.

Click a second time on the photo to see it in high resolution so you can read the song titles.

Since Steve is the front man for both bands, and the music is similar, it's more like one meta-set than an opener/headliner kind of thing.

Dave LaRue, bassist for both The Steve Morse Band and the Dixie Dregs. He is an amazing player, solid and powerful at times, and breaking away into amazing virtuoso solos other times. His sound and tone were incredible that night, too.
Dave LaRue, bassist for both The Steve Morse Band and the Dixie Dregs. He is an amazing player, solid and powerful at times, and breaking away into amazing virtuoso solos other times. His sound and tone were incredible that night, too.

Steve Morse himself. He always seems to be having a great time when he plays these club shows. Always smiling this big beaming grin. It's clear he truly loves what he does for a living.

Steve has been the Number One guitarist in my book for many years. I love his music and his playing very much. I'm nowhere near good enough to play most of his pieces, although I did recently learn the classical guitar piece, Modoc, from the Tablature section of his web site.
Steve Morse himself. He always seems to be having a great time when he plays these club shows. Always smiling this big beaming grin. It's clear he truly loves what he does for a living.

Steve has been the Number One guitarist in my book for many years. I love his music and his playing very much. I'm nowhere near good enough to play most of his pieces, although I did recently learn the classical guitar piece, Modoc, from the Tablature section of his web site.

(4.48 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve plays the opening bars of Highland Wedding.
(4.48 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve plays the opening bars of Highland Wedding.

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The ascending-scale crescendo in the middle of Highland Wedding.

Please note that the slight audio distortion you hear in these video clips is because of an inadequate microphone on the camera. The actual sound of the band was fantastic that night. Very loud and powerful, but not the I-can't-hear-anything kind of loud that you sometimes get at a club gig. I was very impressed with the sound that night.
(4.5 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The ascending-scale crescendo in the middle of Highland Wedding.

Please note that the slight audio distortion you hear in these video clips is because of an inadequate microphone on the camera. The actual sound of the band was fantastic that night. Very loud and powerful, but not the I-can't-hear-anything kind of loud that you sometimes get at a club gig. I was very impressed with the sound that night.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve and Dave begin the Duets section of the show, pieces written for classical guitar and bass guitar. Steve's been putting at least one such piece on every record since the Southern Steel album. This piece is Slice of Time from the album Structural Damage.

Note the person in the crowd asking Steve where he's been. Actually, where he's been is touring the world as the guitarist for Deep Purple.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve and Dave begin the Duets section of the show, pieces written for classical guitar and bass guitar. Steve's been putting at least one such piece on every record since the Southern Steel album. This piece is Slice of Time from the album Structural Damage.

Note the person in the crowd asking Steve where he's been. Actually, where he's been is touring the world as the guitarist for Deep Purple.

(3.72 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Another section of Slice of Time.
(3.72 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Another section of Slice of Time.

Steve and Dave playing the duets.

Steve's classical guitar is a wonderful classical-electric with a special output, which allows him to pan different strings to the left or right of the mix, making it sound on the studio recordings like the guitar is coming from multiple places at once.

Someday, I want to own a guitar just like that.
Steve and Dave playing the duets.

Steve's classical guitar is a wonderful classical-electric with a special output, which allows him to pan different strings to the left or right of the mix, making it sound on the studio recordings like the guitar is coming from multiple places at once.

Someday, I want to own a guitar just like that.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

A snippet of the song Rising Power from the album StressFest.

You'll note that the drummer, Van Romaine, is almost invisible in most of these clips and photos.

Did I mention this was a very small club?

The main reason he's tucked back there out of sight is to make room for all the gear for both The Steve Morse band, and the five-member Dixie Dregs. The keyboardist for the Dixie Dregs had a full Hammond organ with two Leslie cabinets taking up a huge amount of space on stage right. Worth it, though.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

A snippet of the song Rising Power from the album StressFest.

You'll note that the drummer, Van Romaine, is almost invisible in most of these clips and photos.

Did I mention this was a very small club?

The main reason he's tucked back there out of sight is to make room for all the gear for both The Steve Morse band, and the five-member Dixie Dregs. The keyboardist for the Dixie Dregs had a full Hammond organ with two Leslie cabinets taking up a huge amount of space on stage right. Worth it, though.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

An interesting interlude in the middle of Rising Power with Steve doing a plucked and fretted artificial harmonics technique, something I'm nowhere near being able to master.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

An interesting interlude in the middle of Rising Power with Steve doing a plucked and fretted artificial harmonics technique, something I'm nowhere near being able to master.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

A portion of Dave LaRue's amazing bass work during Rising Power.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

A portion of Dave LaRue's amazing bass work during Rising Power.

(3.72 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The opening bars of the song StressFest.
(3.72 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The opening bars of the song StressFest.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve plays the high, fast main theme section to StressFest.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve plays the high, fast main theme section to StressFest.

(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The deep-breath moment just before the main guitar solo in StressFest. Watch Van Romaine in the back, he seems to be having a lot of fun. Steve kept lamenting the fact that we could hardly see him.
(3.71 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The deep-breath moment just before the main guitar solo in StressFest. Watch Van Romaine in the back, he seems to be having a lot of fun. Steve kept lamenting the fact that we could hardly see him.

The set list for The Dixie Dregs.

Click on the photo a second time for a higher-resolution close-up.

The small size of the stage meant that, between the two sets, they had to tear down Van Romaine's drum kit and set up Rod Morgenstein's drum kit in its place. Van is the drummer for The Steve Morse Band, and Rod is the drummer for The Dixie Dregs.

Steve explained that if the stage weren't so small, they could have left them both set up and done a dual-drum-solo thing with the drummers from both bands.
The set list for The Dixie Dregs.

Click on the photo a second time for a higher-resolution close-up.

The small size of the stage meant that, between the two sets, they had to tear down Van Romaine's drum kit and set up Rod Morgenstein's drum kit in its place. Van is the drummer for The Steve Morse Band, and Rod is the drummer for The Dixie Dregs.

Steve explained that if the stage weren't so small, they could have left them both set up and done a dual-drum-solo thing with the drummers from both bands.

Steve's other guitar, a gorgeous purple sunburst. Covet covet covet covet.

On the left is the keyboardist for The Dixie Dregs, T Lavitz (At least I'm pretty sure that's who it is. The Dregs have had more than one keyboardist if I recall correctly). He's a great player, and the moments where he was using that Hammond organ were great.
Steve's other guitar, a gorgeous purple sunburst. Covet covet covet covet.

On the left is the keyboardist for The Dixie Dregs, T Lavitz (At least I'm pretty sure that's who it is. The Dregs have had more than one keyboardist if I recall correctly). He's a great player, and the moments where he was using that Hammond organ were great.

The Dixie Dregs, rocking out. In the back, barely visible playing drums, is Rod Morgenstein. On the right is the Violinist for the Dixie Dregs. I'm pretty sure this is Jerry Goodman, who has also played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He's a really fantastic player, stealing the show at times.
The Dixie Dregs, rocking out. In the back, barely visible playing drums, is Rod Morgenstein. On the right is the Violinist for the Dixie Dregs. I'm pretty sure this is Jerry Goodman, who has also played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He's a really fantastic player, stealing the show at times.

(2.33 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Some wonderful violin work during Country House Shuffle.
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Some wonderful violin work during Country House Shuffle.

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Steve plays the bubbly guitar part at the beginning of Holiday.
(4.49 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

Steve plays the bubbly guitar part at the beginning of Holiday.

(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The band jams during a fantastic violin solo in the middle of Assembly Line.
(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

The band jams during a fantastic violin solo in the middle of Assembly Line.

(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

An incredibly fun bit in the middle of Assembly Line, where the band members are trading solos.

It's a common format for solo-trading in jam sessions, each member starts off with a few bars each, then they keep shortening the length of each person's solo until there's only snippets of notes from each player. The challenge is keeping up with who's doing what. At this point, I can't even keep my camera on the proper soloist, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to try to play that!
(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video Clip)

An incredibly fun bit in the middle of Assembly Line, where the band members are trading solos.

It's a common format for solo-trading in jam sessions, each member starts off with a few bars each, then they keep shortening the length of each person's solo until there's only snippets of notes from each player. The challenge is keeping up with who's doing what. At this point, I can't even keep my camera on the proper soloist, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to try to play that!

(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video File)

Steve trades licks with Jerry Goodman. Note how Steve is following what Jerry is improvising.
(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video File)

Steve trades licks with Jerry Goodman. Note how Steve is following what Jerry is improvising.

(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video File)

Steve and Jerry trade more licks.
(3.70 Megabyte AVI Video File)

Steve and Jerry trade more licks.

The Dixie Dregs are rocking out.
The Dixie Dregs are rocking out.

(4.44 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The Dixie Dregs doing an instrumental cover of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. This is the main theme bit, played more or less straight.
(4.44 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The Dixie Dregs doing an instrumental cover of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. This is the main theme bit, played more or less straight.

(4.56 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The main theme section of Kashmir, but with Steve's own additions across the top of it. Wow.
(4.56 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The main theme section of Kashmir, but with Steve's own additions across the top of it. Wow.

(4.52 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The opening bars of the guitar solo on Kashmir.
(4.52 Megabyte AVI Video File)

The opening bars of the guitar solo on Kashmir.

After the show, Steve came out and signed autographs and chatted with fans. Steve and I had a short conversation about Modoc, the classical piece from High Tension Wires that I learned to play over Christmas vacation.

Some interesting tidbits about that piece:

- It's in the nonstandard tuning of E Flat Major. Steve said that he used E Flat instead of D or E because of the tension of the strings on the neck. Because in that tuning, some strings go up and others down, meaning that the neck tension doesn't change from the standard tuning, so things like the action and intonation aren't affected. Also, he said, it makes it easier to re-tune the guitar when playing a live gig.

- That particular piece on the album was recorded directly into a DAT machine on which he didn't have any editing capabilities. So what he played, he had to live with.

- He agreed that the sonic signature of that piece was something special. It has a very unique sound, and he says he simply got lucky with it. It was recorded in his closet at home.

I was really thrilled he took the time to talk with me and the other fans. It was a fantastic show, and a great night I'll never forget.
After the show, Steve came out and signed autographs and chatted with fans. Steve and I had a short conversation about Modoc, the classical piece from High Tension Wires that I learned to play over Christmas vacation.

Some interesting tidbits about that piece:

- It's in the nonstandard tuning of E Flat Major. Steve said that he used E Flat instead of D or E because of the tension of the strings on the neck. Because in that tuning, some strings go up and others down, meaning that the neck tension doesn't change from the standard tuning, so things like the action and intonation aren't affected. Also, he said, it makes it easier to re-tune the guitar when playing a live gig.

- That particular piece on the album was recorded directly into a DAT machine on which he didn't have any editing capabilities. So what he played, he had to live with.

- He agreed that the sonic signature of that piece was something special. It has a very unique sound, and he says he simply got lucky with it. It was recorded in his closet at home.

I was really thrilled he took the time to talk with me and the other fans. It was a fantastic show, and a great night I'll never forget.

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